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QOTD: Should artificial crowd noise be added to soccer match broadcasts?

The German Bundesliga is in full swing. The English Premier League, La Liga, and Italy’s Serie A will soon be, too. MLS may even follow in the near future.

One question that remains for all returning leagues, however, is whether they intend to adopt a polarizing broadcast strategy that is in style right now.

Top-level soccer returned to Europe this month with the resumption of the Bundesliga campaign, but with it came a serious point of contention. Almost anyone who has watched the recent closed-door games in Germany has heard or been made aware of the artificial crowd noise that is being added to some of the broadcasts in order to help with the television production.

The most notable example was this past Tuesday’s Der Klassiker between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. Loud chants, claps, whistles, and boos could be heard throughout the 90 minutes despite there being no actual fans in the stadium. The players and teams could not hear the noise, either, as it was and is being remotely produced solely for the broadcasts.

The reason for the decision to introduce the artificial sound seems pretty straightforward. With supporters not permitted to attend games because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the prerecorded chants and noise bring back some semblance of normalcy and make for a more regular viewing experience to those watching from home.

Some viewers have not enjoyed the faux sound, though. Some would rather listen to the natural noise that has been opted for in some recent productions, with constant dialogue between players, thuds from the ball being kicked about, and instructions shouted by coaches clear to hear.

All returning leagues will have to weigh how they approach the productions to their closed-door matches, but SBI wants to know which method you prefer for the TV broadcasts. Do you like and value the added crowd noise? Would you rather only hear the game’s natural sounds?

Cast your vote in the latest SBI Question of the Day poll and let us know your thoughts on artificial crowd noise in the in the comments section below.

[polldaddy poll=10559434]


  1. lame. it is what it is. hopefully in a year or so we can go back to crowds. we should hear the naturality of it, and maybe kids can learn something from hearing pros communicate. i don’t want “fake.” what the pro-fake people don’t get is “fake” may follow back over to the real thing. if i wanted sfx i’d be watching a movie.

  2. Absolutely need the crowd noise. I watched the Dortmund – Shalke game which I believe was the first game back and it was horrible in the empty noiseless stadium. Besides the terrible Shalke play it was a motivator to turn the game off before it finished.

  3. when I first heard about I was sure I’d hate it just because it’s fake. But after experiencing it I prefer it over the empty stadium echoes. It feels much more like a normal match and makes watching more enjoyable.

  4. I watched Dortmund-Bayern and thought the crowd noise sounded real and authentic. But I was hoping that the sound engineers would find new and better ways to mic the field so that we could really “hear“ the match.

  5. With the sound and the cardboard cutouts at Mochengladbach you almost could forget. The bigger arenas were very echoey the first weekend, faux crowd noise is better for me. Their using faux noise for Korean Baseball too.

  6. I heard in Germany that they do have a choice. On a side note I thought the sound engineers did a great job with it during the Bayern/Dortmund game. At one point ball was passed back to Neuer & you could hear whistles

  7. Its better with it now, but all they need to do is give us the choice. Because for many it may become tiresome, many may not like it in the first place. It’s helped me settle into matches but frankly, after 15 minutes IDGAF anymore. I’m just watching football. The attempted replication will eventually wear on many people, simply need a choice

  8. I think the added audio helps, I wouldn’t mind if they piped it through the stadium speakers to the players too. It helps make the energy of the whole thing feel livelier. That said I’d still watch all of it even if there was no sound!

  9. Watched Bayern’s games with & without the fan noise added. It was so much better with it. Without it was like watching a closed door scrimmage


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